SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, on Sunday attended the launch ceremony of ‘PM Vishwakarma Scheme’ by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, virtually at the UT-level function organised in Srinagar.
The Lt Governor expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji for the transformative initiative. He said the scheme will directly benefit thousands of artisans and craftspeople of J&K UT working with their hands and tools.
“Our outstanding artisans with creativity and hard work have not only preserved the priceless heritage, diverse culture and traditions but also kept the wheels of socio-economic growth moving. These hardworking hands are the strength of the progressive society,” the Lt Governor said.
PM Vishwakarma Scheme honours traditional skills of craftspeople and their exemplary commitment and dedication. It will ensure the Vishwakarmas are provided with financial assistance, skill upgradation and they are integrated with national and global value chains, he added.
Traditionally, Vishwakarmas are considered as the drivers of growth. They are the personification of artistic power, lord of the arts, creator of diverse crafts and builders of enterprises. Unfortunately, the discriminatory system in J&K existed here for decades has imprisoned the aspirations of communities engaged in traditional skills, the Lt Governor said.
“Under the guidance of Prime Minister, we are working with the vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas & Sabka Prayas’ to empower poor, deprived sections of society. I am confident ‘PM Vishwakarma Scheme’ will bring revolutionary transformation in the lives of our Vishwakarmas,” the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor highlighted the key initiatives taken by the UT Administration for the socio-economic development of the families engaged in traditional skills and handicrafts and handloom sectors.
Handloom and Handicrafts are emerging as two very important pillars of our economy. The Government has recognised more than 29 other crafts and brought them under the ambit of handicrafts and handloom sector. With the continuous support and guidance from the Hon’ble Prime Minister, we have been successful in doubling the exports of handicrafts and handloom, he said.
The Lt Governor also called upon all the sections of society to identify and isolate the elements trying to disrupt peace and development.
“Those who never allowed talent, merit and hard work to flourish, now have problem with the transparent, honest and accountable system. I want to tell them that under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, rights of people will always be safeguarded, only merit will be promoted and ecosystem of good governance and transparency will be further strengthened,” Sinha said.
Kaushal Kishore, Union Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs called for connecting maximum traditional artists and craftspeople with the PM Vishwakarma Scheme.
The Union MoS commended the progress registered by Jammu Kashmir under various schemes and also assured all support and assistance to the women folks in establishing industrial units.
Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, a tailor from Srinagar received Vishwakarma ID Card and Certificate from Prime Minister in Delhi. He is an expert in traditional Pheran. He has been working since last 40 years in this traditional art form.
PM Vishwakarma will be fully funded by the Union Government with an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore. Under the scheme, the Vishwakarmas will be registered free of charge through Common Services Centres using biometric based PM Vishwakarma portal. They will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training, toolkit incentive of Rs 15,000, collateral-free credit support up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5 percent, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support.
The Scheme aims to strengthen and nurture the Guru-Shishya parampara or family-based practice and cover the eighteen traditional crafts including Carpenter, Boat Maker, Armourer, Blacksmith, Hammer and Tool Kit Maker, Locksmith, Goldsmith, Potter, Sculptor, Stonebreaker, Cobbler (Shoesmith/ Footwear artisan), Mason (Rajmistri), Basket/Mat/Broom Maker/Coir Weaver, Doll & Toy Maker (Traditional), Barber, Garland maker, Washerman, Tailor and Fishing Net Maker.
Aftab Malik, Chairman, District Development Council Srinagar; Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner/Secretary Science & Technology; Vikramjit Singh, Commissioner Secretary Industries & Commerce; R K Dhiman, ADG,CPWD, HoDs, Political leaders, officers of UT administration, large number of craftspeople and artisans were present at the UT level function.